Like many parents, Christine spends her days juggling work and family – if she’s not at work she’s packing lunches and shuttling her kids back and forth to school, sports games and theater rehearsals. It’s rare that Christine, her kids, and her husband all get to spend a day together. When she saw a flyer for the Northern Colorado Children’s Festival, Christine decided to get the family together to go.
76,222 children under the age of 18 live in Weld County; of those, 20,398 are under 5 years old. 60% of children under 6 have both parents working, and 14% of families read to their children less than three times per week. Almost two-thirds of fourth graders don’t read proficiently. Plenty of studies have shown links between quality parent time – such as reading to a child, sharing meals, talking with them or otherwise engaging with them one-on-one – and positive outcomes for children.
Research has found that relationships between parents and caregivers and youth that…
- are warm, open, and communicative,
- include appropriate limits, and
- provide reasoning for rules for behavior
…are associated with higher self-esteem, better performance in school, and fewer negative outcomes such as depression or drug use in children and teenagers.
The Northern Colorado Children’s Festival focuses public attention on the needs of Weld County’s young children and their families, and recognizes the early childhood programs and services available in the community. With the help of many other organizations, this event highlights children as the building blocks for our community’s future.
The festival offers many forms of quality play experiences for children ages 0-8. It provides children the chance to spend quality time with their parents and remain active and engaged while they all learn fun, educational activities that they can replicate at home.
Families attend for free. Upon arrival, each family is given a bag that includes parenting resources. At the 90+ booths, families engage in hands-on activities such as:
- developing fine motor skills
- science and the human body
- healthy eating and childhood obesity prevention
- how to make homemade play dough
- fashioning crepe paper flowers
- and more
There are also booths that perform early childhood health screenings and give out new, age appropriate books. Onstage children’s entertainment is provided, including singers and dancers.
“We came to the Children’s Fest on a whim a few years ago, and now we make sure to come back every year – it’s a great way to spend time with the family and I get great ideas for those days when I hear ‘I’m bored.'”Joanne, festival attendee